BAGUIO CITY – Six athletes will lead 48 awardees in the Kafagway/Kordillera International Sports Luminary Awards Podium on Monday (Dec. 30) at 2 p.m. at the Saint Francis Convent here.
World champion and South East Asian Games gold medalist Nesthy Petecio, SEAG double gold medalist Stephaine Sabalo, as well as SEAG gold medalists Jeordan Dominguez, Divine Wally, Jearome Calica, and Jean Claude Saclag, will jointly be named Athletes of the Year in the annual awards under the Silahis ng Pasko project (SnP) which is part of the annual Christmas celebration in Baguio.
Petecio is the International Boxing Association (AIBA) gold medalist last October before she plunged to SEAG action where she won the elusive gold medal in the biennial meet.
Petecio twice came here after the October AIBA to visit her school, the University of Baguio (UB) where she is enrolled at the School of International Tourism and Hotel Management.
Sabalo, a former member of the Saint Louis University dance troupe, won two golds in the SEAG dance sport competition with partner Michael Angelo Marquez.
They also won a silver medal as they helped the Philippine dancesport team to 10 golds and the overall crown.
Sabalo will also be the "Break Out" athlete in the annual awards rites.
Jeordan Dominguez, in what could be his farewell tournament, won a gold medal in freestyle poomsae.
Last June, the UB alumnus won a bronze medal in the first World Taekwondo Poomsae Grand Prix in Rome, Italy, where he was the eighth seed.
Wally also won a gold medal in the 54-kilogram event of Wushu Sanda to help the Philippine Wushu team to the overall crown. Five of the six wushu sanda team took home gold medals.
Calica took the gold in Muay Thai Waikru and Taksa, the performance side of the Thai national sport, with teammate Joemar Gallaza. Calica has been absent in any competition for 18 years after winning a gold medal in the SEAG 2001 edition.
Calica, who worked as a stuntman in Philippine movies, moved to waikru this year after he was called by national coach Billy Alumno.
He is also the "Come Back" awardee on Dec. 30.
Saclag was a member of the Philippine Wushu team like Calica, who won a silver medal in wushu sanda in the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea.
He has then shifted to kickboxing and won a gold medal in the National Kick Boxing Tournament held last March in Tagaytay City which was his ticket to joining the national squad.
He did not disappoint his coach’s trust and won the gold medal in the 64-kilogram division.
Other awardees included SEAG gold medalists and UB alumni Estie Gay Liwanen, who won a gold in kurash; Ariel Ray Lampacan (muay Thai), UC’s Sandi Menchi Abahan (obstacle course race), UB’s Abegail Abad and Elmer Manlapas in arnis, Brian Kurt Barbosa (taekwondo), Jason Baucas (wrestling), Jerry Olsim (UB) and Gina Iniong (UC) in kickboxing, Mark Eduard Striegl in sambo and Kenneth Jiane Villa in esports.
UB’s Josie Gabuco and Carlo Paalam, winner of gold medals in the last SEAG, are also on the list.
Gabuco, a UB Criminology student, who won the country’s first AIBA title in 2012 and the gold in the Asian Championships recently in Bangkok, has also won the gold medal in the SEAG in four other occasions: Vientiane in 2009, 2011 in Jakarta, 2013 in Naypyidaw, Thailand and 2015 in Singapore.
The silver awardees will include SLU former student Jones Inso in wushu taolu, Pines City National High School alumnus Gideon Fred Padua (wushu sanda), Rusha Mae Bayacsan in muay Thai waikru and taksa (Benguet State University), Jenelyn Olsim and Islay Erica Bomogao in muay Thai both of UB, Jason Balabal in wrestling, Renaly Dacquel and Jomar Balangui (UB) in kickboxing, Billy Joel Valenzuela (SLU) in arnis, Minalyn Foy-os in wrestling and Irish Magno in boxing, who is also from UB.
The bronze awardees include Thornton Lou Sayan and Daniel Parantac in wushu taolu (both of UC), UB’s Ezarai Yalong in arnis, Alexis Mayag-as in muay Thai, Helen Dawa in kurash, Helen Aclopen, Jedd Andre Dino Kim and Marianne Mariano in sambo, Karol Maguide in kickboxing and Aira Villegas in boxing.
Dawa, Aclopen, Maguide, and Villegas are former and present UB students, while Mariano is a UC alumna and a bronze medalist in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in wushu sanda.
Special awards will be given to Billy Alumno as "Coach of the year", UB as "School of the year" for having the most athletes to the SEAG, UB’s men’s basketball team and University of the Cordillera Lady Jaguars in women’s basketball.
The special "Master awards" will be given to the 67-year-old Erlinda Lavandia who won a gold in the Kuching, Malaysia Masters Athletics tournament where the 40-something Christabel Martes won two golds – 10,000 and 5,000 meter runs – and two bronze medals.
Lavandia is the former SEAG javelin queen, while Martes was twice the SEAG marathon queen.
The SnP is an annual project started by the older Padilla, a former city councilor and tourism officer and camp director to Michael Keon in the Gintong Alay Project.
It is held with the support of the Larry Puckett Greenwater Foundation, Blue Leaf, Highland Boxing Promotion, the Saint Louis Boys High School Class of 1986, Axa SunStar, the Feast Baguio, Benguet Electric Cooperative, Baguio Rep. Marques and Mrs. Soledad Go, Porta Vaga Mall, Baguio Center Mall, Mr. Carlos, and Karen Anton and Jonathan Myl. (PNA)